The Center for Justice and Democracy at the New York School of Law has just released a report on the state of medicine and the law called Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers (September 2014). Its findings are enlightening and disturbing.
Here are just a few of the findings:
- Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are killed or injured by avoidable medical errors. Yet, very few injured patients file claims or lawsuits.
- Only about 1% of adverse events due to medical negligence result in a claim.
- One possible factor contributing to the continued high rate of errors is that doctors do not expect to bear the full cost of harms caused by their negligence. Studies of medical error consistently find that the vast majority of patients injured by medical error do not file a claim (Weiler et al. 1993; Sloan et al. 1995; Andrews, 2006). Those that do sue often do not recover. Beyond this, hospitals do not bear the full costs of the harms caused in them even though hospitals directly, and indirectly influence patients’ risk of medical error.
- “It is ‘rare or unusual’ for a plaintiff lawyer to bring a frivolous malpractice suit because they are too expensive to bring.
- (A) Harvard team looked at about 30,000 hospital records in New York and found conclusive evidence of a serious injury from medical malpractice in the records of 280 patients. How many of those 280 patients brought a claim? Eight. That is less than 3 percent.
- Medical malpractice insurance companies are making twice the profit of the entire property/casualty insurance industry. In fact, the med mal insurance industry has had seven years of underwriting profit – something completely unheard of in the property/casualty sector.
- After Texas enacted severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, including “caps” on damages, rates of preventable errors rose, “consistent with hospitals gradually relaxing (or doing less to reinforce) patient safety standards.”
- On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care.”
- “Despite a slew of news accounts about patients being set on fire in operating rooms across the country, adoption of precautionary measures has been slow, often implemented only after a hospital experiences an accident.”
- At least eight doctors whose medical licenses were suspended or revoked collectively billed Medicare more than $7 million in 2012.
- An average of 103,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and health care aides a year abuse or are dependent on illicit drugs.
- As unsafe as are civilian hospitals, military hospitals are worse.
- Medical malpractice premiums are not rising; other factors are contributing to the plight of physicians, specifically “health insurers that clamp down on the size of physician fees and deny payment for services that they deem unnecessary.”
- Among the many ways doctors, dentists, and other medical providers are cashing in on vulnerable patients is by selling them credit cards to pay for procedures using deceptive sales tactics; many patients have been hit with substantial debt from these credit cards while waiting for procedures.
If you or a loved one is ever the victim of a medical error, a defective drug, the improper prescription of a drug therapy, over-exposure to medical radiation, a hospital-acquired infection, a fall while in the hospital, a preventable blood clot, a misdiagnosis, or any form of medical malpractice, call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable malpractice attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of defective drug and medical malpractice cases over our nearly 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
What’s more, our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases.
The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.